We’ve recently returned from a trip to India. Back home, I generated a Google My Map to document our visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra. This is what it looks like:
The map includes not only the path we’ve travelled, but also some of the images taken. Click on the thumbnails to see info in a sidebar.
To create a map like this, you need:
- a digital camera set to the correct time zone
- a GPS Track Logger
- a Google Account (to create your personal map)
- a Server to upload thumbnails and images
How to create maps like the one above – step by step:
- During the trip, have a GPS Track Logger running. This is where you’ll get the path and the info for picture geotagging from. Set the camera to the correct time zone – in our case, it was indian time (IST).
- Import both pictures and track logs into HoudahGeo. Specify the camera time when importing the pictures. With the track logs supplied, geotagging pictures is automatic.
- In HoudahGeo, choose “Output > KML Export“. Don’t forget to specify your Base URL – this is where you’ll upload your data to.
- HoudahGeo creates a folder containing three subfolders and a file named doc.kml
- Upload the main folder’s content to the specified location on your server.
- Log into your Google Account, go to Google My Maps and create a new map.
- Import the doc.kml file into your map. This may take a few seconds to process.
- You’ll end up with several new map layers. There are your Images and there’s the Track containing your path and a bounding box (the later can be deleted). There are two more layers, which I deleted (Timeline layer and Tour).
You can now edit, share, or embed the map you’ve just created.
When geotagging in the same process, remember to write geotags to EXIF/XMP (under “Export”) and notify iPhoto/Aperture before you close HoudahGeo. KML Export and geotagging can also be done independently.